Eldrick Tont "Tiger" Woods (born December 30, 1975) is an American professional golfer. He is tied for first in PGA Tour wins, ranks second in men's major championships, and holds numerous golf records. Woods is widely regarded as one of the greatest golfers of all time and one of the most famous athletes of all time. He has been elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Woods was born on 30 December 1975 in Cypress, California, to Earl and Kultida "Tida" Woods. He is their only child and has two half-brothers, Earl Jr. and Kevin, and a half-sister, Royce, from his father's first marriage.
Earl was a retired U.S. Army officer, and Vietnam War veteran who reported African American, Chinese, and Native American descent. Kultida (née Punsawad) is originally from Thailand, where Earl had met her when he was on a tour of duty there in 1968. She is of mixed Thai, Chinese, and Dutch ancestry. Tiger described his ethnic make-up as "Cablinasian" (a syllabic abbreviation he coined from Caucasian, Black, American Indian, and Asian).
Woods's first name, Eldrick, was chosen by his mother because it began with "E" (for Earl) and ended with "K" (for Kultida). His middle name Tont is a traditional Thai name. He was nicknamed Tiger in honor of his father's friend Col. Vuong Dang Phong, who had also been known as Tiger.
Woods has a niece, Cheyenne Woods, who played for the Wake Forest University golf team and turned professional in 2012 when she made her pro debut in the LPGA Championship.
Early Life and Amateur Golf Career
Woods grew up in Orange County, California. He was a child prodigy who was introduced to golf before the age of two by his athletic father, Earl Woods. Earl was a single-digit handicap amateur golfer who also was one of the earliest African-American college baseball players at Kansas State University. Tiger's father was a member of the military and had playing privileges at the Navy golf course beside the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, which allowed Tiger to play there. Tiger also played at the par 3 Heartwell golf course in Long Beach, as well as some of the municipals in Long Beach.
Woods was 15 years old and a student at Western High School in Anaheim when he became the youngest U.S. Junior Amateur champion; this was a record that stood until it was broken by Jim Liu in 2010. He was named 1991's Southern California Amateur Player of the Year (for the second consecutive year) and Golf Digest Junior Amateur Player of the Year. In 1992, he defended his title at the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, becoming the tournament's first two-time winner. He also competed in his first PGA Tour event, the Nissan Los Angeles Open (he missed the 36-hole cut), and was named Golf Digest Amateur Player of the Year, Golf World Player of the Year, and Golfweek National Amateur of the Year.
College Golf Career
Woods was heavily recruited by college golf powers. He chose Stanford University, the 1994 NCAA champions. He enrolled at Stanford in the fall of 1994 under a golf scholarship and won his first collegiate event, the 40th Annual William H. Tucker Invitational, that September. He selected a major in economics and was nicknamed "Urkel" by college teammate Notah Begay III. In 1995, he successfully defended his U.S. Amateur title at the Newport Country Club in Rhode Island and was voted Pac-10 Player of the Year, NCAA First Team All-American, and Stanford's Male Freshman of the Year (an award that encompasses all sports).
At the age of 19, he participated in his first PGA Tour major, the 1995 Masters, and tied for 41st as the only amateur to make the cut; two years later, he won the tournament by 12 strokes. In 1996 at the age of 20, he became the first golfer to win three consecutive U.S. Amateur titles and won the NCAA individual golf championship. In winning the silver medal as leading amateur at The Open Championship, he tied the record for an amateur aggregate score of 281. He left college after two years in order to turn professional in the golf industry. In 1996, Woods moved out of California, stating in 2013 that it was due to the state's high tax rate.
Woods turned pro at age 20 in August 1996 and immediately signed advertising deals with Nike, Inc. and Titleist that ranked as the most lucrative endorsement contracts in golf history at that time. Woods was named Sports Illustrated's 1996 Sportsman of the Year and PGA Tour Rookie of the Year. On 13 April 1997, he won his first major, the Masters, in record-breaking fashion and became the tournament's youngest winner at age 21. Two months later, he set the record for the fastest ascent to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings. After a lackluster 1998, Woods finished the 1999 season with eight wins, including the PGA Championship, a feat not achieved since Johnny Miller did it in 1974.
In 2000, Woods won six consecutive events on the PGA Tour, which was the longest winning streak since Ben Hogan did it in 1948. One of these was the U.S. Open, where he broke or tied nine tournament records in what Sports Illustrated called "the greatest performance in golf history", in which Woods won the tournament by a record 15-stroke margin and earned a check for $800,000. At age 24, he became the youngest golfer to achieve the Career Grand Slam. At the end of 2000, Woods had won nine of the twenty PGA Tour events he entered and had broken the record for lowest scoring average in tour history. He was named the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year, the only athlete to be honored twice, and was ranked by Golf Digest magazine as the twelfth-best golfer of all time.
- He was inducted into the California Hall of Fame on 5 December 2007 at The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts in Sacramento after former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife Maria Shriver announced on 20 August 2007 that Woods would be inducted.
- In December 2009, Woods was named "Athlete of the Decade" by the Associated Press. He was named Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year a record-tying four times, and is one of only two people to be named Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year more than once.
- In May 2019, following his 2019 Masters Tournament win, Woods was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Donald Trump.
Woods has appeared on Forbes' list of the world's highest-paid athletes. According to Golf Digest, Woods made $769,440,709 from 1996 to 2007, and the magazine predicted that Woods would pass a billion dollars in earnings by 2010. In 2009, Forbes confirmed that Woods was indeed the world's first professional athlete to earn over a billion dollars in his career, after accounting for the $10 million bonus Woods received for the FedEx Cup title. The same year, Forbes estimated his net worth to be $600 million, making him the second richest person of color in the United States, behind only Oprah Winfrey. In 2015, Woods ranked ninth in Forbes' list of world's highest-paid athletes, being the top among Asian Americans or the fourth among African Americans. As of 2017, Woods was considered to be the highest-paid golfer in the world.
Woods has won 82 official PGA Tour events, including 15 majors. He is 14–1 when going into the final round of a major with at least a share of the lead. Multiple golf experts have heralded Woods as "the greatest closer in history". He owns the lowest career scoring average and the most career earnings of any player in PGA Tour history.
Woods's victory at the 2013 Players Championship also marked a win in his 300th PGA Tour start. He also won golf tournaments in his 100th (in 2000) and 200th (in 2006) tour starts.
Woods has spent the most consecutive and cumulative weeks atop the world rankings. He is one of five players (along with Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, and Jack Nicklaus) to have won all four major championships in his career, known as the Career Grand Slam, and was the youngest to do so. Woods is the only player to have consecutively won all four major championships open to professionals, accomplishing the feat in the 2000–2001 seasons.
- PGA Tour wins (82)
- European Tour wins (41)
- Japan Golf Tour wins (3)
- Asian Tour wins (2)
- PGA Tour of Australasia wins (3)
- Other wins (17)
- Amateur wins (21)
He established TGR Foundation in 1996 with his father Earl as the Tiger Woods Foundation, with the primary goal of promoting golf among inner-city children. The foundation has conducted junior golf clinics across the US, and sponsors the Tiger Woods Foundation National Junior Golf Team in the Junior World Golf Championships. As of December 2010, TWF employed approximately 55 people.
The foundation operates the Tiger Woods Learning Center (TWLC), a $50-million, 35,000-square-foot (3,300 m2) facility in Anaheim, California, providing college-access programs for underserved youth. The TWLC opened in 2006 and features seven classrooms, extensive multi-media facilities and an outdoor golf teaching area. The center has since expanded to four additional campuses: two in Washington, D.C.; one in Philadelphia; and one in Stuart, Florida.
Woods wrote a golf instruction column for Golf Digest magazine from 1997 to February 2011. In 2001 he wrote a best-selling golf instruction book, How I Play Golf, which had the largest print run of any golf book for its first edition, 1.5 million copies. In March 2017, he published a memoir, The 1997 Masters: My Story, co-authored by Lorne Rubenstein, which focuses on his first Masters win. In October 2019, Woods announced he would be writing a memoir book titled Back.
Woods was severely myopic; his eyesight had a rating of 11 diopters. In order to correct this problem, he underwent successful laser eye surgery in 1999, and he immediately resumed winning tour events. In 2007, his vision again began to deteriorate, and he underwent laser eye surgery a second time.
In November 2003, Woods became engaged to Elin Nordegren, a Swedish former model and daughter of former minister of migration Barbro Holmberg and radio journalist Thomas Nordegren. Woods and Nordegren's first child was a daughter born in 2007, whom they named Sam Alexis Woods. Woods chose the name because his own father had always called him Sam. Their son, Charlie Axel Woods, was born in 2009.
On 18 March 2013, Woods announced that he and Olympic gold medal skier Lindsey Vonn were dating. They split up in May 2015. From November 2016 to August 2017, Woods was rumored in a relationship with stylist Kristin Smith. Woods announced in November 2017 that he was in a relationship with restaurant manager Erica Herman, following speculation about their relationship that began the month prior.
On 29 May 2017, Woods was arrested near his Jupiter Island, Florida, home by the Jupiter Police Department at about 3:00 am EDT for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He was asleep in his car, which was stationary in a traffic lane with its engine running. He later stated that he had taken prescription drugs and did not realize how they might interact together. On 3 July 2017, Woods tweeted that he had completed an out-of-state intensive program to tackle an unspecified issue. At his 9 August 2017 arraignment, Woods had his attorney Douglas Duncan submit a not guilty plea for him and agreed to take part in a first-time DUI offender program and attend another arraignment on October 25.
At a hearing on 27 October 2017, Woods pleaded guilty to reckless driving. He received a year of probation, was fined $250, and ordered to undergo 50 hours of community service along with regular drug tests. He was not allowed to drink alcohol during the probation, and if he violated the probation he would be sentenced to 90 days in jail with an additional $500 fine.
2021 Car Crash
On 23 February 2021, Woods was involved in a serious rollover car accident in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. The wreck was a single-vehicle collision and Woods was the sole occupant of the tournament courtesy car (a 2021 Genesis GV80), which was traveling along Hawthorne Boulevard.
He was taken to the Harbor–UCLA Medical Center by ambulance. The incident is under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which said the car "sustained major damage." Woods's agent later said that he sustained multiple leg injuries and had undergone surgery for non-life threatening injuries. It was reported that the leg injuries include "compound fractures".
Former Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump released statements wishing Woods a speedy recovery.
- Stella Chan, Cheri Mossburg and Steve Almasy, , CNN, Published: 23 February, 2021, Accessed: 24 February, 2021